Death Chat 2007: Jamal Lewis Edition

The gang of four ponders the meaning of the Jamal Lewis signing, and other imponderables. CAUTION: Unabashed football geekery


Hey, we're all here!
John: Where's Schudel?
Rich: He's been excused.
Barry: Jeff has to re-write his story, so he's been excused
Rich: The guy always comes up with excuses.
John: Teacher's pet
Rich: Yeah, think so.
John: I'm doing this chat under protest. Pistons-Cavs in the 4th quarter.
Barry: Alright, my question writing time was eaten up by the Lewis thing, so I'm going to be improvising. Let's get this thing underway.
Barry: Ready?
Rich: Let's get rid of Taylor. Can't concentrate. Thinks LeBron plays for the Browns.
John: He don't?
Rich: He might improve the wide receiver position.

Rich: Shoot boss
Barry: Jamal Lewis, 3.6 yards per carry... Reuben Droughns, 3.4 yards per carry.
John: True
Rich: So?
Barry: Why do you make the change?
Fred: What is the money for Lewis?
Barry: We don't know yet. One year deal
John: Who says they are making a change?
Rich: Simple. Jamal Lewis on his worst day is a better runner than Reuben Droughns on his best day.
Barry: Then how did Droughns gain 1200 yards twice when Lewis gained 1000 and 900 those same seasons?
Rich: And how many times did Droughns see the end zone in that 1,200-yard season?
John: Why can't you have Reuben AND Jamal?
Rich: Nothing wrong with that if the Browns are willing to pay Droughns that bonus money.
John: Gotta agree that Jamal is the better back, though.
Fred: I think Lewis has not been the same since prison and knee surgery.
Barry: The numbers say that, after 2003, they're basically the same thing
Rich: One big difference. Lewis is capable of taking it all the way. Droughns isn't.
Fred: I would rather have Adrian Peterson. Does this mean they're going after Quinn?
John: Then, if they are the same thing, what is the big deal?
Rich: Lewis is bigger and faster.
Barry: Lewis scored nine touchdowns last season. He's more capable of putting it in the end zone than the rushing-TD-free Browns
John: Lewis is the better back. Period.
Barry: It seems to me that two of us are saying that Lewis is far better back and two of us are saying we're skeptical of Lewis.
John: I think the Black and Purple are skewing two of the views. ;-)
Rich: What's wrong with having Lewis AND Peterson?
John: Amen Rich.
Fred: That would be the best situation. Bye, bye Reuben.
John: But, can you have Jamal, Reuben AND AP?
Rich: Peterson can learn from one of the best. And he can be a change of pace back much like Reggie Bush is to Deuce McAllister down in N.O.
John: If not, then either Reuben or AP are out of the equation.
Rich: Droughns can be the fullback.
Barry: Good point, Rich, one which I made brilliantly in our Lewis story last evening.
Rich: He'd be better than Terrelle Smith or Lawrence Vickers.
John: I'd be better than Terrelle.
Rich: Let's not get carried away John.
Rich: Vickers, maybe. But Smith?
Fred: That's what I've said for a long time. Forget the fullback who does nothing but block. Bring back the two back. Mack-Byner, Brown-Green, Kelly-Green.

OK, question: Do you pay a $1.75 million bonus to your fullback or part-time running back. Yes or No.
Fred: No
John: No. Use that money for interior linemen.
Rich: Yes, but only if he's willing to accept a lesser role in the offense.
Rich: Otherwise, see ya.
John: WRONG!!!
Rich: Whose wrong?
John: You Rich.
Barry: Interesting concept.
Fred: When is the roster bonus due Droughns?
John: Don't ask me, Fred. I've butchered the date twice.
Barry: March 17

Put a percentage on how likely Reuben Droughns is to be with the team on March 18th.
John: Less than 10%
Fred: 25%
Barry: 10%
I think a lot depends on what Chudzinski says.
Barry: Pffft. Pick a number.
Barry: This is like Price is Right. If you go 26% you win.
Rich: Between 1 and 100?
Barry: Yes, or 0 and 100
Rich: OK, OK. 50%.
Barry: Wow. Alright then.
Rich: Phew. That was close.

TOPIC #2: The Lewis signing.
Barry: Does it make a draft of Adrian Peterson more likely, less likely, or the same?

Depends on what they do with Droughns.
Fred: It depends to me on what they do with Droughns.
John: Hah-ha, great minds think alike, Fred
Rich: Yeah right.
Rich: You guys rehearsed that.
Rich: The same. Savage should keep his eye on the ball and take Peterson.
John: You're just bitter over the War of 1812 blast in ATI Rich. :-)
Rich: Yeah. I'm just a bitter old man.
Fred: I agree Lewis is better than Droughns, but to me not the long term answer.
Barry: I think it's the same... the team has talked about the value of having two big backs.
John: How then could it be the same Barry?
Barry: If Droughns is kept, the value of their draft choice declines because it's obvious they will pass on Peterson.
Barry: So, Droughns is gone.
Barry: They will just exchange Lewis for Droughns. This changes nothing WRT the draft.
John: Then it's not the same, it's dependant on what they do with Reuben. Just like Fred and I said.
Rich: I don't think the value drops, Barry. Just because they signed Lewis doesn't automatically mean Peterson is headed elsewhere.
Rich: Or maybe try to deal him?
Nope. I'm saying that they WILL dump Reuben, and it will make no difference. No fence-sitting for me. I'm leaping right off into the thorn bushes
John: "You" and "leap" don't belong in the same sentence.
Barry: Plummet?
Barry: Gravity works on me.
Rich: In strange ways?
John: More along the lines of "gravity taking its course"

Barry: Given the signing of Lewis.
Barry: Is the Browns Free Agency Week One closer to a "Triumph" or "Failure"?

Rich: Triumph.
John: Triumph
Fred: I love the Steinbach signing, but everything else is blah to me.
Fred: Triumph
Barry: I say triumph mostly because of what they didn't do.
John: Exactly. Clements signing case in point.
Rich: Anytime you can sign a feature back such as Jamal Lewis, who is only 28 (this summer), you improve yourself.
Rich: If the Browns had tried to play one-up with the 49ers, that would have been insane.
John: Rack Passan.
Before the signing of Lewis, same question.
John: Triumph again
Fred: The Lewis signing from his standpoint looks like a jilted lover trying to get back at the ex (Ravens),
Barry: That's fine by me Fred, as long as he actually does it.
Rich: You have a point there, Fred, but that's not necessarily bad.
Barry: We could use some motivated players.
Fred: He might be on a mission and try to play for a big contract. The one year deal reminds me of the Indians.
Rich: Nothing wrong with that. It's like renting a player.
Barry: If we draft Peterson, that might not be a horrible thing, because we have a replacement ready
Rich: If he comes through, as I believe he will, it'll be worth rolling the dice.
Fred: I can see that line of reasoning. Have Lewis for a year and let Peterson take over next season.
Fred: Especially when LeCharles returns to Pro Bowl form.
Rich: Exactly.
John: I'm scared. I agree with just about everything Rich is saying about the Jamal signing
Rich: And who knows? Maybe Lewis will like it well enough in Cleveland that he'll stay.
John: Stop making sense Rich.
Rich: Don't worry, John. Relax. You'll get past this soon enough and you'll feel much better.
John: I hope so. I'm frightened right now.
Rich: I haven't made sense on this Web site in . . .
John: (post years writing stories)
Rich: . . . fill in the blank.
Barry: Hey! Listen to your moderator!
John: Who said that?

Barry: TOPIC #3. The Browns dump Droughns, Draft Peterson. Are there enough carries to go around?
Fred: Lewis has to be the oldest 28 year old, I've seen since Greg Oden was 19.
Rich: Is there a moderator in the house?
John: LMAO @ Fred.
John: That was a good one.
Rich: Ditto.
Barry: If Peterson is the draft pick is there a carries war? Do we have an unhappy 8ball? ANSWER ME.
Rich: No. Not if Chudzinski uses them in the correct way.
John: Was there a carry war with the Saints last season, when they had Deuce and Reggie?
Fred: Like said earlier, I think Peterson could be used like Bush and Lewis can be the bread and butter back.
John: Fred's the man.
Rich: No.
Rich: There was no war in N.O. because Sean Payton handled the situation correctly.
Fred: It's scary that John and I keep typing the same answers in at the same time.
John: lol Fred

Barry: TOPIC #4
John: Wait for what?
Rich: I can't wait.
John: Hurry!!!
Rich: He's shouting at us, John and Fred.
Fred: What are the Cavs doing?
Rich: Who cares?
John: Losing.
Rich: Shocking!
Barry: The Houston Texans provide press releases for each free agent who visits. The Browns make everything top secret and won't even say who is visiting.
Barry: Does that help or hurt the team with fans? ANSWER ME.
John: You know I have to correct spelling when I transcribe, right?
Barry: I'll transcribe using Frontpage. It has a spell checker.
Barry: It makes all of us appear waaay smarter.
Fred: They used to have a PC with every guy who visited. I don't know if that helped them or not. I remember talking to Priest Holmes when the Browns decided on Errict Rhett.
Barry: That was a good call, wasn't it?
John: As to your question, I don't think it really matters. They're secretive and there's nothing anybody can do about it. Like General Knight said, just lay back and...
Rich: The Browns have been this way since Belichick and are not going to change. It hurts the fans, but I don't think they care. The fans, that is. Neither, for that matter, do the Browns.
Fred: They know if they win, that's all that matter. The problem is they haven't won and everybody still follows them.
Barry: Good answers, all.
John: Cavs down by three with 3:30 to go...

L I G H T N I N G * R O U N D

Alright. I'll improvise some lightning round questions and then we're outta here!
Barry: 1. Romeo Crennel: Have his odds of surviving increased diminished or stayed the same this week?
John: Stayed the same
Rich: Increased a teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy bit.
Fred: I think they've improved, but if they go with a rookie QB, that doesn't bode well.
Barry: The correct answer is "increased".
Rich: What do I win?
John: Cavs up by one...
Rich: Who cares?!
John: I do. That's all that matters.
Rich: If the Cavs score a touchdown, do they win?

Barry: 2. Jim Donovan reported that David Carr was headed to Cleveland in a trade last week. It wasn't true but would the trade have been a good idea, bad idea or idiotic idea?
John: Whatever is below idiotic. Asinine, maybe?
Rich: I'm still on the Matt Schaub bandwagon. Carr is a latter-day Tim Couch.
Rich: What's below asinine?
John: Exactly, Rich
Fred: He's better than Tuias opopoooooooo
Barry: Rich is right again with the Tim Couch comparison.
Barry: But Fred had the best line
Rich: You mean Tuiasanono?
Barry: Last question, chance for Fred and John to get on the scoreboard.
Rich: Do they need a 3-pointer?
Fred: I'm ready
Rich: Trying to keep Taylor focused here.
John: Who cares!?
Barry: Last week, your moderator asked if you would be angry if Nate Clements got a $20 million signing bonus from the Browns. In retrospect, does that question seem still valid, hopeless naïve, or simply ignorant of 49er stupidity?
Rich: LOL
John: Up by one, 1:30 left...
Fred: Thank goodness the 49ers were there.
Rich: Inconsequential.
John: It's validation of the 49ers naiveté and stupidity
Barry: Alright. I'll give that one in a tie to Fred and John. You got on the board, but Rich still won the lightning round. Fred got bonus points for deliberately misspelling Tuiasosopo.
Rich: Any lovely parting gifts?
Barry: Yes, you get invited back next week.
Fred: You get points for spelling it.
John: I hate this game. I'm taking my ball and stomping home
Rich: Stomp on, big brother.
Fred: Maybe the Browns will sign us to stay under the cap.
Rich: They can't afford us.
Barry: I dunno, I'm pretty cheap
Fred: Hey we can solve all their problems. We'd be worth every penny.
Barry: That's true. We'd be done in less than two weeks.

We're done! Any parting words for the Browns fans out there in OBR land?
Fred: Good night.
John: One thing: Show the exact same moral outrage you will show for the Jamal signing that you showed for the Ryan Tucker signing.
Rich: Now that he's officially a Brown, it'll be interesting to see just how loyal Browns fans are now that one of the hated Ravens will wear the colors of their favorite team.
Rich: Is we done?
We done.
Drive safe everybody!

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